Embedded system is a system used to control or monitor machines, devices, factories and other large-scale equipment. The widely recognized definition of embedded system in China is: a special computer system with application as the center, computer technology as the basis, software and hardware can be tailored to meet the strict requirements of application system on function, reliability, cost, volume and power consumption.

Traditional testing methods obviously can not meet the requirements. Engineers and embedded developers do not have time for manual measurement, nor can they risk finding key defects in the final manufacturing process. At the same time, the Asian market also brings unique challenges, such as the need to integrate development cycles around the world and fierce cost pressure. Therefore, Embedded designers need innovative tools, technologies and methodologies. Without new tools, Embedded designers must become test experts.

How to use parallel test method in embedded system design

The good news is that many technologies can assist in this process. From new data bus, multi-core processor to synchronous execution software, all bring new hope to Embedded designers. Developers can now achieve faster testing through parallel processing and parallel measurement. The transfer to multi-core processors can eliminate the time constraints caused by the traditional sequential single core test platform. This allows engineers and scientists with the right tools to process and analyze data in a parallel manner. In essence, parallel software languages such as NI LabVIEW can greatly improve the performance of applications executed on multi-core systems without changing the program code.

If engineers can use parallel processing, they will also require more efficient measurement. Parallel testing requires each sub component of the system, not just processing components, to support parallel mode. The most common data transmission buses such as PCI, USB, LAN and GPIB cannot support the real parallel data transmission mode, because the components on the bus will share bandwidth. As the number of tasks increases, the available bandwidth allocated to each task is decreasing. Engineers can eliminate this bottleneck by selecting a data bus that can support dedicated bandwidth, such as PCI Express.

Although PCI Express has developed many applications to adopt software processing on the host side, the latest high-speed digital electronic software may still need to reside in its own hardware to achieve real-time response. FPGAs can provide optimal solutions because they use software to define hardware capabilities, so they can respond at hardware speed. For example, LabVIEW can be used for on-board FPGA applications and synthesize the required hardware directly from the graphical software.

The future embedded design is developing towards higher efficiency. Many developers will use the integrated system design platform to realize its design and testing. Graphical system design can provide commercial ready-made software and hardware platform for developers to use the same intuitive software for design and testing, and use flexible hardware platform to verify the design, prototype and test.

Source: China Electronics Network

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